Actress Andrea Barber talks anxiety, depression and ‘Fuller House’ at book event in L.A.

AmericaJR’s Gloria and Jason Rzucidlo with actress Andrea Barber.

Actress turned author Andrea Barber discussed her new memoir titled ‘Full Circle’ at Barnes & Noble at The Grove shopping center on Sunday, Nov. 24. She spoke to a packed crowd, answered questions from her fans and signed copies of her book.

“I wrote most of it over a four-month period,” she told the audience. “It was in between ‘Fuller House’ season three and four that I wrote this. Then, I learned a lot about the publishing industry and it takes a lot longer than four months to publish a book. From the very first conversation I had with the literary agent to publishing date, it was just about two years. Then, there’s lots of drafts that go back and forth. It’s a long process.”

The actress said her book cover was “the brainchild of Melissa Coulier, who is the wife of Dave Coulier, who plays Joey Gladstone. She is very prominent photographer and she rocks. I knew as soon as I was going to write a book, I wanted Melissa to do the cover.”

Barber is best known for playing Kimmy Gibbler on the popular TV series “Full House” and on Netflix’s“Fuller House.” The original series aired from 1987 to 1995. Then, the new series premiered–more than 20 years later–in 2016.

“When I got to high school, I was on ‘Full House.’ I always treated it as a hobby. I was on a hit TV show. I had a lot of success and fun and stayed with it. To fans, I’ve always been synonymous with my character since most people don’t know me in any other way. I’m a private person who regularly performs on a very public stage.”

She read a few passages from her book about her struggle with anxiety and depression.

“Who amongst us hasn’t experience self doubt and wanting to fit in? It took me a long time into my adult years to feel as confident as Kimmy is. To know me is to realize that I am very flawed and I have many shortcomings and insecurities. By sharing them with you, you may recognize things in yourself and discover that you and I are not so unalike after all.”

What part of the book are you most excited to share with your fans?

“I talk a lot about my mental health struggles. What I didn’t anticipate was how cathartic it was to share this with you guys. People are direct messaging me or tweeting or coming up to me in person and saying, ‘I struggle with this too.’ We’re the same. We’re one. Anxiety and depression does not discriminate. It affects everybody.”

Barber was asked if she was surprised about the success of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s clothing lines.

“Oh, yeah. Those girls have been juggernauts ever since they were nine months old. I wasn’t surprised at all that their clothing line became a huge hit. They’ve been very successful in all areas of their life. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

What did you think when you got the phone call about rejoining your “Full House” cast in the new Netflix series “Fuller House”?

“It was a knee-jerk reaction. I didn’t really think about it. I knew I was come back into a family that I loved. I was a little nervous about performing. It just came back so naturally like muscle memory. I’m more comfortable now then I was five years ago. I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I was getting to do twice.

“We wanted it to be a show you can sit down with your family and watch. There’s fans who aren’t even born yet that are going to watch this show and full house. It gives me warm fuzzies inside.”

A big fan in the audience said she grew up watching “Full House” and enjoyed the new series. She tried calling Netflix 20 times in a day to beg them to renew “Fuller House” for another season.

The actress responded: “Thank you for your support. We love it. I know the whole cast feels that love and support. I wish we could do this forever. You know, if ‘Fuller House’ can’t continue and it looks like it won’t, we hope to come back in 20 more years and do the Golden Girls-style Kimmy Gibber.”

Barber was also asked about her favorite episodes that she starred in on the two popular TV sitcoms.

For the original “Full House,” she loved the Sixteen Candles episode. However, for the newer “Fuller House,” she loved the New Kids on the Block episode and The Nutcracker episode.

What are your future career plans?

“If the right show comes along, I’d love to keep acting. I want kids to know it’s OK to feel weird. What makes you strange is what makes you powerful.”

By the way, season five of “Fuller House” is now available on Netflix.

Video by Jason Rzucidlo / AmericaJR